「蟻とキリギリスの戦争 オセアニア軍事国攻略戦 II」 (Aritokirigirisu no Sensou Oseania Gunji-koku Kouryaku-sen II)
“The War of the Any and the Grasshopper The Invasion of the Oceanian Military State II”
The enemy’s plan is stupid. Needs more flirting and Ohoho-chan.
The Oceanian Military State’s Plan Is Shit, As Usual
Once again, the central conceit of this arc is a little bit shit. It was frustrating, actually. I felt like I must have misunderstood something until the end of the episode, because it didn’t make sense. Frolaytia said their goal was to manipulate international opinion by killing their own people. Well sure, if you want to turn international opinion against you, that’s a great way to do it. But if they’re trying to flip international popular opinion in your favor (presumably to get the multinational force to go the hell away), I can only see killing your own people going one or two ways:
- Kill your own people and blame it on the multinational forces. If they could somehow flip the narrative to their benefit, that would be a boon, though they would really need to trick the multinational force into actually committing a atrocity, otherwise the multinational force would (rightly) point out that it’s all a lie, and the muddied waters will prevent the Oceanians from taking the moral high ground. But even doing it themselves and blaming it on the invaders wouldn’t work, because the soldiers killing the villagers were wearing Oceanian uniforms, and the 0.5th Gen Object that’s gunning for a village is an Oceanian machine. They can lie all they want, but the cameras won’t help them if they don’t at least disguise their people like the enemy.
- Become such a villain that global public opinion switches to wanting to leave Oceania alone so innocents stop dying. The only problem with that is that it’s in no way how humans think. If a bully is hitting a smaller kid, we don’t leave them alone in the hopes that they’ll stop hitting. We stop the bully from hitting. That’d just hasten their ignomy and demise.
Turns out it was neither of those. Oceania’s plan is to outwit the multinational task force and cause them to lose face, which would … do what, exactly? Even if the 0.5th Gen Object takes out a village, or even the multinational base, there are a ton of Objects operating in this theater. They’ll swarm the 0.5th Gen, destroy it, and the fraggin’ dictator is even driving the thing, so he’s going down. Oceania loses regardless. Invaders can be beat, but it’s usually through guerrilla actions later on, while the dictators in charge when the country is invaded have a bad track record of staying in charge, or even alive. Ask Saddam Hussein. (The American invasion of Iraq is a good example of both, though I could give others.) I’m sure Bashar al-Assad goes to sleep worrying about that today.
Which leaves me wondering what, exactly, the point of this arc is. I hope the meta story is better, because the foregone conclusion that is the defeat of Oceania is a waste of time.
“In what world would a country plan to massacre its own people?”
Allow me a digression. I laughed aloud when the idiot reporter—er, Seawax (Koyama Rikiya) said the above line. In what world would a country plan to massacre its own people? Earth. Plenty of times. A whole bunch of times, actually. WWII Germany, Soviet Russia, communist China, the Ottomans in Armenia, and those are just the ones off the top of my head. Civil wars could qualify as well. Or how about the Rwandan genocide? Or Syria right now.
And those are just relatively recent ones. We humans have been perpetuating genocide on each other for ages. I’ll forgive a lot in a goofy story, but ignoring human nature to the point of erasing the worst parts of our history ain’t one of ’em. That sets us down the road of repeating those mistakes.
Looking Ahead – Get Back To The Goofy Fun
I feel like the massacre of civilians isn’t a good thing for Heavy Object to go into. The more serious it gets, the more I realize how dumb it is, and the harder it is to enjoy it. That’s not to say that it isn’t a topic stories should tackle, it’s just not one this story should tackle. I ragged on this episode a good bit, but that’s because the things I enjoy are in short supply—a little worried Milinda, a little of Havia and Qwenthur sekubantering with Frolaytia over the radio, and that’s about it. Also, armpits? Nostrils? Earholes? Just stop, Qwenthur. You’re going to scare Hime-sama off. Also, just … just stop.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The Oceanian plan is dumb, and of course, Qwethur & Havia have to foil it because plot. More flirting and Ohoho-chan, please #heavyobject 07
- “You’re wrong! That’s not the kind of story I want to report!” It occurs to me, idiot reporter, that you don’t exactly have a choice. You work with what you’ve got.
- I just finished Hardcore History’s “Blueprint for Armageddon” series, which is over WWI. It desensitized me to casualty figures something fierce. I heard 13,000 planned dead, and all I can think is, “So, like a week on the Western Front. Or, in some cases, a single morning.” That war was fucked up, even by the standards of wars.
- They build an entire prototype reactor before building the real one each time they build an Object? In what world does that happen? Though maybe that’s only for the first time a country or group builds a new type of Object. If so, they needed to say that.
- If a story starts talking about ventilation ducts in this day and age, that storyteller is being shite. That stopped being okay in the 90’s. (So it should come as no surprise that the other anime to do it this season is Comet Lucifer.) And even if Havia calls it out and they justify it, that doesn’t make it all right!
- Forgot to mention two things I liked. First, that they left the reporter behind. Good, springing a civilian to help would have been stupid. Second, that the politician is talking about three wars planned for next year, and appears displeased at Qwenthur and Havia’s initiative. Some kind of military-industrial complex evil brewing/ Hopefully there’s something, at least, because this Object-based-crisis-of-the-week formula can’t last much longer.
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Stephen, what is best in life?, It depends, Momentum & mental space, and The best content is in email